As war rages on with Russia invading Ukraine on multiple fronts for close to a week now, cryptocurrencies have been the choice of fundraising for global donors. According to an estimate, as much as $19 million has been sent to Ukraine as the country faces Russian aggression.
The official Twitter handle of the Ukrainian government has said that they are accepting donations by means of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT. According to a report, the official two wallets mentioned receiving $5.4 million in just a span of eight hours. According to sectoral analysts, in a time like this, the flow of cryptocurrencies has the benefit of not getting affected, unlike legacy financial networks which are susceptible to collapses.
According to Elliptic, a crypto analytics firm, “Crypto-assets such as Bitcoin have emerged as an important alternative crowdfunding method. They allow quick, cross-border donations, which bypass financial institutions that might be blocking payments to these groups.”
In addition to the Ukrainian government seeking funds, many humanitarian collectives are also collecting funds via cryptocurrencies to help those affected by the Russian onslaught. Ukraine DAO, Come Back Alive are among such drives to raise funds to help alleviate the pains of the war-ravaged nation.
Meanwhile, an Ethereum-based token Help Ukraine ($HUKR) has been launched to help a fundraising effort named Support Ukrainian Sovereignty which in turn is helping many humanitarian efforts on the ground.
But Elliptic warns that in the guise of helping those affected by the war, there are also sinister plans by scamsters to siphon off money from gullible donors. “Scammers also appear to be taking advantage of the current situation by tricking unsuspecting users wishing to donate to Ukrainian causes. Elliptic has identified a number of fraudulent crypto fundraising scams which are exploiting the current situation,” they said.
While Ukraine has benefitted from cryptocurrencies, they have sought a ban on servicing Russian interests by eight major cryptocurrency exchanges. To this effect, they have written to exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit, Gate and Whitebit, and Kuna so that the international sanctions imposed on Russia are more effective.